I just came back from another hike on Spout Path, this time around I took the Shoal Bay Road in again.

As beautiful as Spout Path is, it’s becoming clear to me that right now I’m just not fit enough to continue hiking and liking this trail. I still immensely enjoy all the wildlife and the spectacular scenery along the way but when all is said and done I’m walking like a zombie by the end of the day because the trail is just too long for me, especially when I’m carrying my camera around.

Today I started out on Shoal Bay Road at 9AM and arrived the Spout trailhead after 90 minutes. Gone were the slippery ice and snow, but the water on the trail was still there in quantity and there was no way to get past it without getting my feet wet.

On Spout Path, the Queens River bridge was my first stop and I immediately spotted an otter in the water!

Last time I came in from this side I didn’t know to look for otters and after I got home I read the ECTA trail description to find out the names of the things I’d seen. Only then did I learn there were otters to be seen in that bay so today when I came out of the forest I knew I had to look for them and I basically spotted one with my first glance of the water. In Newfoundland all otters are river otters but this one was swimming in the sea. It didn’t take notice of me at all and was just doing its thing in the clear blue water and sunshine.

Here’s a picture of the otter but since I came prepared for scenery I didn’t have a zoom lens with me, meaning the otter is just a tiny speck in the water. It was a pure joy watching it though:

River otter below Queens River - Spout Path

River otter below Queens River – Spout Path

Next stop was the Spout itself, the cone of snow and ice from last month was gone, allowing me to get much closer to study the ‘mechanics’ of the blowhole. A small stream of water flows into the blowhole and every ten seconds or so a furious roar can be heard from below, just before the Spout violently expels a fine spray of freshwater droplets:

The last time I was at the Spout it wasn’t nearly as active, I remember the eruptions being much less prolific with perhaps only one proper blast every few minutes.

My final destination of today’s hike was Sea Stack Cove where a tall sea stack watches over the ocean, complete with a little patch of forest on top:

Sea stack near the Landing Place - Spout Path

Sea stack, near the Landing Place – Spout Path

On my side of the cliffs there was a narrow river falling freely into the ocean, Spout Path truly has some amazing scenery, it’s just too bad you have to ‘break your body’ to get there and back again. I’m seriously considering getting a tent so I can camp out there next time, to get some rest after the hike.

Because of the uncharacteristically high temperature today (18 degrees) I was out of water before I even reached the turn-around point of the hike. I had brought three bottles with me but I was thirsty for more, which is why I had to refill them several times in the streams I crossed along the way. I don’t know if it was a good call on my part, but I knew that not drinking would have floored me for sure.

Free refills - Spout Path

Free refills – Spout Path

On the way back to the car I saw seven snowshoe hares and one ruffed grouse, they helped me keep my spirits up until I reached the car at 8PM, after an exhausting 11 hour 24 km hike.